Hazrath Faqihul Ummat (RA)

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Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: “Qiyaamah will not be established until knowledge will be taken away (by the death of the Ulama). Earthquakes will be frequent, time will pass quickly, afflictions will appear, murders will increase and money will overflow amongst you.” (Sahih Bukhari)

The signs of Qiyaamah are indeed apparent all around us. However, in this latter period of time, the demise of the personality who was aptly titled “Faqihul Ummah” is a clear sign that the knowledge of Deen is being taken away. The heart-rending demise of Hazrath Mufti Mahmood Hasan Gangohi Saheb (rahmatullah alaihi) on 19 Rabius Thani 1417 (2 September 1996) at 7:30 p.m. is a clear sign that we have come very close to the Last Day. Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilaihi Raajioon. May Allah Ta’ala Grant Hazrath Faqihul Ummah (rahmatullah alaihi) a lofty rank in the hereafter and enable us to continue implementing his advices and teachings. Aameen.

Describing the personality of Hazrath Mufti Saheb (rahmatullah alaihi) is an almost impossible task. The most eloquent words would hopelessly fail in truly describing the knowledge, brilliance, piety, kindness, compassion, humility and the numerous other qualities which he embodied. He was an ustaad to thousands of students, a mentor to thousands of diciples and a kind and compassionate father to all who came into contact with him. His compassion and kindness knew no bounds. It was indeed his first nature. Every year he personally took care of the monthly expenses and of the various needs of numerous students of Darul Uloom Deoband, Saharanpur and other institutions. There were instances when he gave away his valuable personal kitaabs ... and there were occasions where he even gave away the clothing he had been wearing at that time. Despite this, he never regarded himself as having shown any favour to anyone. He greatly loved the poor, he loved being with them and he loved living and even passing away like them. Hazrath (rahmatullah alaihi) was also forever concerned about the Deeni progress of others, especially the poor.

It was the normal practice of Hazrath Mufti Saheb (rahmatullah alaihi) for many years that daily he would recite 15 paras or more in salaah. During the month of Ramadaan, he would complete one Qur’an daily.

Nothing, and simply nothing, can truly convey the extent to how much poorer the world has become with the demise of Hazrath Mufti Saheb (rahmatullah alaihi). It is not the demise of just one individual. Rather, it is the demise of an entire “world” as the Arabic saying goes:“Mautul Aalim, mautul aalam” (the death of an Aalim is the death of the world).

Hazrath Mufti Saheb (rahmatullah alaihi) taught Bukhari Sharief for many years at Kanpur as well as at Darul Uloom Deoband. Besides teaching Bukhari Sharief and other books of hadith at Deoband, he also graced the distinguished position of Grand Mufti of that august institution for many years.

To date 22 thick volumes of his fatwas have been published (further volumes are still being published). Besides the fatwas he authored several books and booklets. Upon his instruction the publication of many magazines and newsletters was undertaken by various institutions. [The publication of AL-HAADI was also commenced upon his advice. The name was also chosen by Hazrath (rahmatullah alaihi) himself].

Together with this Hazrath Mufti Saheb (rahmatullah alaihi) travelled to many countries for the purpose of disseminating the Deen of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). South Africa was particularly fortunate that Hazrath Mufti Saheb (rahmatullah alaihi) repeatedly blessed our shores with his presence and benifitted the Ummah with his teachings. It was also the good fortune of South Africa that this country was blessed with the last days of the life of this great luminary of Islam.

While the hearts of thousands are greatly grieved at the loss of their guide and mentor, the point to consider at this juncture is: What would have pleased Hazrath Faqihul Ummah (rahmatullah alaihi) had he been present?” The simple reply is: “Implementing his teachings and practicing on his advices.” In this light, the ensuing pages are dedicated to various aspects which are important for one and all to keep in mind.

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